Election 2018: Goncalves v. McGorty in race for 122nd district seat

Democrat Jose Goncalves is challenging incumbent state Rep. Ben McGorty for the 122nd House District seat, representing sections of Shelton, Trumbull and Stratford.

Read the background of and statements from each candidate below. To find your voting location and a sample ballot for Tuesday's Election, click here.

Jose Goncalves, Democrat

Background: Jose Goncalves has lived in Shelton for nearly 40 years and he and his wife have raised three children here.

For over 25 years, Goncalves worked for the Bridgeport Board of Education, and is a member of its Executive Union Board.

Goncalves has enjoyed volunteering with the Shelton Youth Soccer Program at the Boys and Girls Club. He and his family are active members of their church and within the Portuguese community.

Jose currently serves on the Board of Education in Shelton, where he advocates for all students in Shelton to have a first-rate educational experience. He believes that students who are prepared for higher education and the trades will better compete in a global economy.

Candidate Statement: As your State Representative, I will support projects that bring good jobs with rising incomes to our area. I believe in improving and expanding healthcare, especially for our seniors. I will work to invest in updates to our infrastructure for better roads and bridges.

Working families are Connecticut’s most important economic resource, the foundation of long-term growth and prosperity. That’s why I support initiatives that will improve the economic environment and provide better financial stability to working families.

Ben McGorty, Republican (incumbent)

Background: Ben McGorty was first elected as the State Representative in the 122nd District in a special election on July 22, 2014, and was most recently re-elected on November 8, 2016.  

McGorty is a Realtor with William Raveis Real Estate. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and is active in local and statewide fire prevention efforts. McGorty serves as a Deputy Fire Marshal and Fire Commissioner for the City of Shelton and is a twenty-five-year volunteer with the Huntington Fire Department.

His wife, Noreen, is an Alderman in Shelton representing the Huntington section of town. They have two children a son Bennie and his wife Florencia a granddaughter Savannah and a daughter Siobhan. The McGortys are parishioners of St. Lawrence Church.

Candidate Statement: Since being elected in 2014, Governor Dan Malloy and the majority party Democrats failed to restore our state's economy and have lost the confidence of many of our friends and neighbors.

But with close margins in both the House and Senate, we have been able to pump the brakes on the Malloy agenda.

We have been able to pass bipartisan budgets that didn't raise taxes. Actually, we stopped 17 tax proposals from the governor and the majority from going into effect, which included taxes on cell phones, tires and restaurants.

In addition, we forced Democrats to put caps on spending and borrowing to prevent wasteful spending. I am a firm believer that government must live within their means. We can't continue to spend and borrow for things we don't have money for.

We also prevented drastic education cuts and restored critical funding for the Medicare Savings Program. We did all of this by prioritizing state spending and being fiscally responsible.

I understand that we have a lot of work to do and our fiscal outlook is not great but we must remember that we accomplished everything I listed above by following common sense principles.

Moving forward we need to continue to rein in government waste and fraud, we need to look at privatizing government services like the DMV, and we need to put Connecticut taxpayers first.

My top priority is fixing the state's economy and making our state more affordable. I am tired of seeing friends and family leave the state because they can't afford to live here.

On November 6th, I am asking for your support again. I want to continue to be your voice and fight for taxpayers. I will never stop fighting for the residents of Shelton, Stratford, and Trumbull and will not give up on Connecticut.